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August 2, 2013

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Thanks to JanDekkerDesigns.com for the gorgeous photo!  Few vendors ROCK my world like Jan, plus her b’day is one day before mine, go figure, right!

http://www.JanDekkerDesigns.com

http://www.JanDekkerDesigns.com

You found the man/woman of your dreams, your soul mate, right, congrats!  You said “YES”, you’re engaged, and since many items do come in “threes,” or “multiples of threes,”– such as graduating from college, moving into a new home, switching jobs, finding a new job, buying a new car, and then you just added the “wedding to do list” which is a mile long, you are BUSY!  You thought finding time to do things was tough before, well, it doesn’t get any better!

As an experienced wedding planner, at the end of the day, in my opinion (which you will hear TONS of opinions), this is truly what matters…having an incredible wedding of your dreams is important, yet more important is the quality of the rest of your life together as husband and wife.

Your wedding may be the first “party” you have thrown with all of your family and friends in attendance.  To make it more stressful, it is not only your family and friends, you have added the family and friends of your fiancé too (many you may not have met yet)!

The golden rule is important.  You have heard of bridezilla, groomzilla, and momzilla, so please don’t let the stress of planning your wedding turn you, or someone you love into one!  Reach out to those in your close circle of family and friends in a kind way.  You may disagree, tempers may flare, yet pick your battles, since relationships and friendships may end over minor issues which may have been solved easily and quickly.

Here are a few MUST DO tips before you walk down the aisle and say “I do.”

1).  Happily ever after happens in fairy tales.  Pre-wedding anxiety is normal.  Confront your fears, stress, or concerns about your marriage head on.  Be open with your fiance and your inner circle of family and friends.

2).  Plan a date night with your fiance.  Have a date night with your fiancé where you talk about what he wants to talk about, and don’t bring up “the wedding.”  Make it at a location on “neutral grounds,” where you both are comfortable and get back to “normal” before the stresses of planning the wedding.

3).  Discuss a prenup, checking accounts, credit cards, savings, and joining finances.  If you haven’t already discussed this, it is important.  You may want accounts to stay at “your bank,” while he wants accounts to stay at “his bank”.   Once checks and bills start coming in, you don’t want confusion about whose account they should go into or out of.  Are you going to stay with “your” bank, switch to “his” bank, or go to a different bank altogether?  Finances are normally one of the top items of disagreements in relationships.

4).  Discuss plans to have children or not have children.  Many breakdowns in marriages occur when someone “thought” or “assumed” their spouse wanted and expected something, then when they brought it up, said they were “blind sided” and didn’t see “that” coming.  If you are planning to have children, when, and how many?  If you are not planning on having children, best to talk about it now.  If you do have children, how are you going to raise them if you are Catholic and he is Jewish?

5).  Plan “me” time.  Schedule something which helps you relax, and something you like to do for you.  May be working out, hiking, playing sports, purging your closet, something for you!

6).  Bond and have heart-to-heart moments with your family and BFFs.  Once you are married you will have less free time with your parents and friends.  Plan something you have always wanted to do with them, yet haven’t done “yet” together, something on your/their “bucket” list.

7).  Talk about “When we’re married…”  Here is a way to get the creative minds thinking (LOVE using this in your wedding ceremony wording too):  You have known each other for ____ years, through the first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment.  At some moment you decided to marry.  From that moment of yes, until this moment of Yes (your wedding vows), indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.  All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or on long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will, and you will, and we will,” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.  All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

8).  You can’t change someone else.  This is one of the most valuable lessons I will ever share with you.  So many clients say “after the wedding, this isn’t happening…”and feel they have a magical way of changing their spouse.  When your vows say, “for better, for worse,” that is truly what to expect.  You love your fiancé for multiple reasons, and will be spending the rest of your lives together.  Marriage is a two way street, and communication and compromise are crucial to the success of your marriage.

9).  If you don’t like something, work at making a change in yourself to change the way you accept or don’t accept “it” in your life.  The definition of insanity by Albert Einstein is “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different results.”

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 1, 2013

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http://TheWrightHouse.com

http://TheWrightHouse.com

Plan ahead, and consider the logistics of your get ready location.  Plan ahead for your get ready room and get ready photography.  You may want to get ready at your parents’ home, a hotel room, or a wedding venue’s bridal suite.  The Wright House (photo to the left) has a gorgeous get ready room fully equipped with natural lighting, space, seating, and an adjoining bathroom.  Weigh the pros and cons of each location.  You will need to factor in time for transportation to get everyone to your ceremony site (unless it is at the same property).   If you are having your ceremony and reception at a hotel, most hotels will provide a get ready room in your agreement, yet may not be able to get you an early check-in (depending on occupancy levels).  You will be less stressed if you pay extra to check into your room the night before your wedding, so everything is easier for your wedding day.

Lighting, timing, space, and minimal clutter is important.  Your “get ready” photos will be taken in your get ready room.  Discuss with your photographer natural lighting and start times so you know to be ready to start photos.  Work with your photographer on lighting since they will LOVE lots of natural lighting with large windows vs. being in a dim light room with no or minimal windows, or florescent lighting.  If you are getting ready in a hotel room, ask your hotel representative if there is an upgrade price (less the room you get included in your plan) so you may pay for a more picturesque room for get ready photos with large windows.  Think about the number of people you will be having in your room too.  Space is important, and think about how many you don’t want clutter of everyone’s bags in the photos.

Focus on a realistic plans for photography, hair and makeup schedules.  Your wedding planner will need to back out additional time for hair and makeup schedules.  Most people will need to be finished with hair and makeup when the photographer starts with the bride getting into her gown.  Most will not want to have photos without their hair done, or without their makeup finished.  Depending on how many faces you have for makeup (average 45 min. per face, and 1 hr. for the bride) and how many heads you have for your hairstylists (average 45 min. – 1 hr. per head, then 1 -1.5 hours for bride), plan on starting early and having touch-ups as needed.

Here are items to consider for your get ready room:

–         Breakfast ordered (dietary restrictions), and scheduled to be delivered to your room for you, your wedding party, MOB (mother of the bride), and MOG (mother of the groom).

–         Lunch ordered (dietary restrictions), and scheduled to be delivered to your room for you, your wedding party, MOB, and MOG.

–         Straws for drinking to not mess up make-up

–         Adequate bathrooms for everyone to shower and go to the restroom too

–         Mirrors (so not everyone crowds the bathroom)

–         Music downloaded on your iPod to play your favorites

–         Fans to circulate air

–         Steamer for wrinkle free dresses

–         Hanger for your dress which is photo worthy for your “gown photo on a hanger”

–         Bar stools for makeup artist (unless they bring their own)

–         Lighting for makeup

–         Power strips for hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons, rollers, etc.

–         Charger for your phone

–         Signs for fun wedding party photos “Just wait until you see her!”

–         If you are at a hotel, find out how many other weddings and/or brides will be on site at the same time.  Find out what locations are the hotels favorite photography locations, when they will be in shade, and when they will be available for photography for you.

–         Chairs and props to help with group photos

–         Wedding party gifts wrapped and packed for opening for great photos

–         (If at a hotel) Bell man scheduled to pickup the bridesmaids bags so housekeeping may clean room

–         Housekeeping requested to clean the room after you leave for your ceremony

–         Arrange for amenities for late night after your wedding – drinks, munchies, turn down of your bed.

–         Arrange for breakfast in bed for the day after your wedding with you and your fiance’s favorites!

 

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

 

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

 

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

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July 29, 2013

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TheWrightHouse.com

TheWrightHouse.com

Phoenix, Arizona, known as the Valley of the Sun, has some of the best weather in the United States year round!  The daily high temperatures from October to April generally remain in the ideal range of 65°F to 85°F.  Phoenix normally has 296 days of sunshine a year.    In the summer, when the weather is hotter, because we have low humidity,  since it is a “dry heat,” even at 100°F, it doesn’t feel as hot since other parts of the country with higher humidity.

Phoenix Average Monthly Temperatures

Month Average High Average Low
January                67

46

February

71

49

March

77

54

April

85

60

May

95

69

June

104

78

July

106

83

August

104

83

September

100

77

October

89

65

November

76

53

December

66

45

Few settings are as gorgeous as the views in Arizona of Camelback Mountain, South Mountain, Desert Botanical Gardens, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, plus there are many more!

The Wright House (gorgeous photo above, right) has both indoor and outdoor capability with an English Garden or a Country French Inn, call 480.833.0902 today to schedule a tour!  Check them out at http://www.TheWrightHouse.com

Here are some tips when planning your outdoor wedding in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Surprise, Glendale, Avondale, or other cities in Arizona.

Create shade.  Sometimes sunny days in Phoenix may be too much of a good thing.  Provide shade for guests who prefer to stay out of the sun.  You may get umbrellas from your venue included, otherwise you may rent some.  Keep in mind the umbrellas may block views of some of your guests.  You may want to opt for a canopy to cover the top with elevation for everyone instead.  Renting a tent would give you coverage on all sides vs. just the top.  Your photographer will need shade for your wedding photography too.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate!  Make sure you, your wedding party, and guests stay hydrated, especially if the weather is warm.  Have your caterer set up a water station with filtered water, ice, and a fruit garnish which would match the color or theme of your wedding (lemons for yellow, orange for tangerine, strawberries for red, etc.).

Have a Plan B which is as good as your Plan A.  When you choose your outdoor venue, make sure you have a Plan B for inclement weather which is functional.  Make sure your Plan B option is in writing in your agreement, since when the weather changes, all the events at your outdoor venue of choice will be looking for Plan B.  Your wedding planner and wedding venue can get up-to-the-minute weather reports and forecasts via apps like those offered at weather.com.  Make sure you know if you have a right to make a decision on Plan B, (some properties make the decision for you).  Have in writing in your agreement when you must make the FINAL decision before incurring extra setup costs.

Rent a Tent.  If your Plan B is the same space, regardless of inclement weather, would recommend reserving a tent.  These may be used year round, and allow for heating and air-conditioning units to be mounted on the outside.  This will cover you, your friends, and your family, and will be a wise investment.  Make sure you put a deposit down and order the tent, since you will need a tent permit.  Make sure you have a heating/air-conditioning technician on hand several hours before your wedding is scheduled to start.  If it is too hot, your flowers will not handle this well.  If it is too cold, the musicians when setting up will not be able to tune.

Determine what type of permits you need.  You may need city permits (depending on your location) for tents, noise ordinances, parking, fire marshall inspections, and more.

Be Courteous of Your Neighbors.  If you are having a home wedding, your neighbors may or may not be your BFF.  They may be planning to host an event the same night as yours.  Let them know about your festivities, and it may be easier to invite them to attend.  Make sure no one is mowing their lawn during your ceremony.  You don’t want someone cutting tile for their remodel during your ceremony either.  Be aware of when there is trash and recycling pickup so you don’t hear garbage trucks clanking.  You may want to hire valet parking, or hire a shuttle/bus for round-trip transportation for your guests to park at a local church or school (with permission from the location).

Determine your Insurance Options.  Make sure you take out special event insurance for the time the vendors and your guests will be on your property (if you are having a home wedding).  Check with your homeowner’s insurance to see what they will cover, and you may need to get a recommendation from someone who writes Special Event Insurance to get you the coverage you need.

What is inclement weather?  Typically “inclement weather” means the weather is going to do, or has done something bad, such as excessive rain, wind, or temperatures.   Try to get a definition of “inclement weather” from your venue so you have a common terminology.  Try to get their definition in writing in your agreement.  As an expert wedding planner, my definition of inclement weather would be:

a).  temperatures lower than ____

b).  temperatures higher than ____

c).  wind higher than _____

d).  rain estimated at %_____

Why do I need a tent early, instead of waiting until right before the wedding?  The ground at your wedding may not be level, and you want to make sure your centerpieces and chairs aren’t tipping over.  Had an October bride many years ago who I recommended to rent a tent for her Plan B, (she was having a home wedding at her parent’s home, which was the size of a mansion, with tennis courts, basketball courts, and guest houses).  The only flat location for the size of tent she required for her guest count was on their tennis courts.  The bride did NOT want the tent, saying she didn’t want her dinner/dance on a tennis court.  Told the bride if it rains on the day of your wedding, no one will care about the tennis courts, they will be happy to be dry!  The bride cancelled the tent rental 1 month out, and didn’t tell me.  The rental company called me immediately, and I told them to NOT cancel it, and to hold the tent under my account.  10 days before the wedding I emailed the weather forecast to the bride.  The bride called me in tears, letting me know she made a huge mistake, and she didn’t know what to do.  She thanked me for the weather update (which said RAIN), and confessed to me she had cancelled the tent.  Once she received my email on the weather forecast, she had called every rental company and no one has a tent!  Listened to her story, and then told her I wasn’t worried at all.  She frantically screamed, “How can you not be worried, my wedding is going to be a disaster.”  Then I told her about the rental company calling me, and I already knew about she DID have her tent!  Another reason why an experienced wedding planner is worth every penny!

Keep your wedding at an acceptable temperature.  With heating and cooling in a tent, you will be able to maintain an acceptable temperature.  You may also want to get a mist system, or fans.  For your outdoor wedding ceremony, you may want to have the servers hand out chilled, scented towels during the event.   Another idea for your wedding ceremony is to have your ceremony program double as a fan for each guest.

Do you need to rent power and lighting?  What time is sunset on the day of your wedding?  When and where do you need additional lighting (parking, restrooms, bar, dance floor, guest tables, just to name a few locations)?  How much power do you need for lighting?  You will want to make sure your vendors have the power they need to perform/provide their service/product.  Ask your wedding planner and caterer to get a complete list for your type of event for power needs.  Make sure you have enough power, or order generators.  Make sure your guests have lighting (since they may not be familiar with the area) to get comfortably from one place to another at your wedding.  You will want the DJ and band to make sure they can read their song list.  You will want lighting at the table so your guests will see what they are eating.

Insects may be an uninvited guest to your wedding.  Mosquitoes, ants, bees, and flies are a part of nature, yet you don’t need them to be part of your outdoor wedding.  You may want to use decorative citronella tiki torches or candles (normally available at Lowes.com) to discourage insects.

How many Bathrooms are there, and Are they Clean?  Nothing ruins an event worse than a not enough bathrooms, or the bathrooms you have being dirty, or out of toilet paper.  If your venue has restrooms, great, yet if they don’t have something in close proximity, you may want to rent a posh bathroom for your guests.  Check with local rental companies like ClassicPartyRentals.com for options on flushing toilets, running faucets, soap dispensers, built-in trash receptacles, and indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Sprinklers need to be shut off during setup, during the event, and during strike (take down of your event).  Imagine the heels of your shoes sinking in the grass, since someone forgot to shut off the sprinklers, and “just watered” the grass.  Make sure the sprinklers are shut off so the lawn is not damp from the start of setup through the end of strike (take down of your event).  Discuss this with your wedding planner and your wedding venue.

Sunset times and positioning of the sun’s angle.  For an outdoor wedding ceremony, the last thing you want is the sun in the eyes of your guests.  Position chairs and the front of your ceremony to be in a functional direction.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

Hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner | Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

 

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

 

 

 

 

 

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July 20, 2013

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http://www.DePoyStudios.com

http://www.DePoyStudios.com

Brides wear and incorporate something old, something borrowed, something blue (thanks Crissy at http://www.DePoyStudios.com for our something blue shoe photo), and something new on their wedding day for good luck.  There is a 5th item, a sixpence in your shoe, or a penny in your shoe, which is a wish for good fortune and prosperity.  The sixpence tends to remain largely a British custom.   As a wedding planner, there is no “right” answer, yet would recommend incorporating your items below to fit your personality, traditions, and “own it!”

Something Old  is a symbol of your family, and your life before marriage, in particular with your mother or grandmother.  Your old item may be an antique, an heirloom object, or a sentimental piece that represents the bride’s past.

–         Use some of the wedding gown fabric or lace from your mother’s wedding gown or your grandmother’s wedding gown and sew it inside your gown.  (Make sure you ask before just cutting into their wedding gown!)

–         Wear something vintage.

–         Wear antique combs, pins, or barrettes.

–         Wear white, ivory, or lace gloves.

–         Shrink down a photo of you, your mother, and your grandmother together and put it in a bracelet or locket from your mother or grandmother.  (Could double as your something old and something borrowed, a two-for-one!)

–         Include a video montage to include some photos of you growing up.

–         Carry a love letter saved by your mom from your father.

–         Display or carry a photo of your parents or grandparents when they were younger.

–         Have your wedding at a historic location.

–         Have a vintage car for your transportation.

–         Use an antique bookmark to mark your ceremony readings.

–         Get a relative’s monogrammed handkerchief to wipe away your tears of joy.

–         Find an antique tussy mussy for the bride’s bouquet.

–         Carry a childhood treasure (like a ring, bracelet, locket, etc.).

Something New  is a symbol for your new life ahead, and your new union!

–         Buy new jewelry.

–         Buy new shoes.

–         A key to your new home, may be hidden in your bouquet.

–         Buy a lucky penny minted the year of your wedding (then save it for your daughter’s something old when she gets married.)

–         If you’re taking your groom’s last name, you’ll also be gaining a new monogram.  Incorporate this new monogram into your wedding dress, a sash, or a ribbon for your bouquet.

–         Create a hashtag for your wedding #MHwedding.

–         Create a wedding website.

Something Borrowed is a symbol of borrowed happiness, which is normally lent to you by a happily married woman who is a close friend or family member.  The borrowed item is returned the day after the wedding, with a handwritten thank-you note.  A nice gesture is to have someone take a photo of you with the item as a keepsake to send to them.

–         Borrow a book from the library for your reading or poem for your ceremony.

–         Borrow jewelry, barrettes, or something sentimental from your mother, grandmother, or aunt.

–         If you are the type who cries at happy moments, borrow a monogrammed handkerchief from your father or grandfather.

Something Blue is a symbol for fidelity, purity, and love. For Christian brides, it is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary.  There are many  hues of blue, so pick one you love.

–         Wear blue shoes.

–         Wear a blue garter.

–         Carry a blue purse.

–         Wear a blue sash on your dress.

–         Have something blue on your bouquet.

–         Have a blue pen for signing the marriage license.

Sixpence in Your Shoe, some say “A lucky penny in her shoe,” is a symbol of good fortune and pr osperity.  The sixpence is traditionally placed in the bride’s left shoe, yet may be carried in her purse.

– Find a penny minted in the year of the wedding and tape it to the bottom of the sole of your shoe.  Later you may frame it or add it to your scrapbook, or your daughter may wear it as her “something old” in the future.

Copyright 2013, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale Wedding Planner, Paradise Valley Wedding Planner, Chandler Wedding Planner, Phoenix Wedding Planner and Destination Wedding Planner

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

 

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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September 18, 2012

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Wedding Toasts

Wedding Toasts

The wedding toast has evolved from a simple “to your health and happiness” to a personalized, fine tuned presentation, and often using props for visual aids.  Statistics show that, next to dying, public speaking is some Americans’ greatest fear.

Who toasts, what order, and how many?  There is a simple equation to make this be a memorable event at your wedding rather than a disaster and embarrassment.  AVOID an “open microphone” at your wedding for anyone to say a toast.  If you are interested in having an “open microphone,” it is best to offer this option for your closest family and friends at the rehearsal dinner.

One key thing to remember, the bride and/or groom have entrusted YOU to be in the position with the microphone to say something remarkable about them, and their relationship.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated, and your toast will be a raving success!

The bride and groom should have a list of who will be toasting, and in which order, which they have given to their bandleader and/or DJ for introductions.  If they have not, make sure you discuss this with them so you know their preference.

Tips for Preparing Your Toast.

  • Stand when offering a toast.
  • Speak from your heart, and research to find out clever and interesting facts about the bride and groom which would be interesting and clever to share about their relationship in a positive light.
  • Be upbeat when offering toasts.
  • If someone has died in the family recently, this is not the time or place to offer your sympathy.
  • If you do include humor, do it tastefully, and end on a serious note.
  • Quotes from readings and poetry may enrich your toast, as well as letting the bride and groom know you cared enough to give it some thought ahead of time.
  • The best man usually offers the first toast, followed by the maid/matron of honor.
  • Wedding toasts are traditionally made to the bride and groom individually, and then to the couple.
  • A wedding toast should be trimmed down to 3 minutes maximum.  You WILL lose your audience’s interest if it is longer.  Edit your word choice, the more impact is from the least amount of words.
  • If this is the second marriage for the couple, NEVER mention this during the toast.
  • Avoid clichés, jokes, or “humor” which may have ethnic or religious implications.
  • Steer clear of profanity or offensive language.
  • Practice your toast in front of a family member, or in front of a close personal friend.

Delivering Your Toast.

  • Speak into the microphone, and arrive early for a sound check to feel comfortable in the room so you know how close to hold the microphone to your mouth.  You don’t want feedback screeching in the room, and you don’t want the level of the volume of the microphone so low no one can hear what you say.
  • Avoid saying “um”, “you know,” “I mean,” and other phrases which mean you are not well prepared.
  • Keep the tone of your voice interesting, not monotone, not too high pitch, and don’t speak to fast, or too slow.
  • Make eye contact with the bride and groom, and everyone in the room.  Do not have your back to anyone.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Make sure everyone has something to drink as their toast.
  • Remember to bring your glass with you when you offer your toast.
  • If they haven’t already spoken to you, make sure you speak to the wedding planner, head captain, photographer, videographer, DJ, and band know where your toast is in the timeline for the day.
  • Wish them well.  A toast to the bride and groom should end with hopefull wishes for a happy future.
  • Offer personal advice, or pull inspiration from historical quotes, readyings, literature, or even song lyrics.
  • The final gesture is to raise a glass and take a sip.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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September 2, 2012

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DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio

DulceCreative.com - Jamie Denke Portfolio

As a bride or groom, your Wedding Guest List may be easy to compile, or may be your worst nightmare.  This is the first time you will be combining both of your families for multiple events, and everyone has their own opinion on what is appropriate or inappropriate.  Trimming the guest list may turn into a heated debate, yet this blog (since you cannot be with me 24/7) will fast track you to realistic solutions which work best for you!  Your guest list WILL dictate how much you spend and your ceremony and reception location.  If you invite 150 couples, this may easily translate into 300 guests.

The Ultimate Guest List.  A magical number of family and friends which fits the size and style of your ceremony and reception sites, while staying within your wedding budget.

Invite Your Inner Circle of Family and Friends to Reduce Expenses.  Your wedding guest list should be your closest, most intimate friends and family members.   Focus on people who matter to you most.  Who was your priority to announce personally you just got engaged?  Although you may have an enormous family and circle of friends, it is important to trim the size of your wedding guest list to reduce expenses.  Trimming your wedding guest list is the number one way to save money!  If you haven’t seen or talked to them in a few years, they may be the easiest to cut first.

Make an Extensive List.  Ask your parents, your fiancé, and his parents to compile a wedding guest list including everyone they would imagine inviting.  Have them include and list their people in categories so it is easier when you are making table arrangements (i.e., wedding party, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family, friends, neighbors, bosses, co-workers, business acquaintances, college friends, high school friends, and distant relatives).  Make sure everyone knows this is the “Fantasy Wish List”, and cuts will need to be made to stay within your budget.

Be Respectful.  Count on one thing when deciding on your wedding guest list, disagreement.  Everyone will have an opinion about your wedding, and especially about who should be invited.  When you get your red pen to trim your list, make sure you are respectful to your fiancé, your parents, and his parents.

Who is Paying, Divide Equally, and Apply Rules Fairly.  If you are running into conflicts when trimming your list, consider who will be paying the bill.  Budgeting for the wedding is something you must discuss at the beginning of your wedding planning.  If your parents are paying for most of the wedding, they will obviously have more control of your guest list.  Try to divide the guest list evenly.  Make across-the-board, and clear-cut decisions on who to cut, (i.e., invite all aunts and uncles, yet eliminate third generation cousins).

Make Your MUST Have  List.  This is your “A List” of who you MUST have at your wedding.  This may be your parents, siblings, grandparents, and wedding party.  The ones left on your list which did not make it to your “A List”, will be your “B List”.

Who Should be Easier to Cut?  When you start making cuts, your colleagues, out-of-touch friends, and distant relatives you haven’t seen or talked to in over one year should understand if you want to keep your wedding guest list to your closest family and friends.  Don’t feel obligated to invite neighbors or other brides which have recently invited you to their wedding.

Limit Your Plus Ones.  It is up to you if you will allow a friend to bring a date.  Common courtesy dictates if your friend lives with, or is in a serious relationship with someone, this “plus one” should be invited to the wedding.  If your friend has a different person each month, this doesn’t mean they should be invited.  Talk with your friend first before assuming, and this is an easy way to get the name of their guest.  If they can’t give you a name, probably a good candidate for “no plus one”!

Realistic Guest Counts, Holidays, and Special Events.  On an average, 15% to 20% of your invited guests will not be able to attend.  They may have prior commitments, may not be able to take time off from work, or have other obstacles.  Your wedding date selection is important.  Holiday weekends are when airlines are extremely busy, and airfares will be more expensive.  If you plan your wedding during a major sporting event like Super Bowl weekend, your guests may have a difficult time finding hotel rooms, especially if the Super Bowl is in the same city as your wedding.

Master Guest List.  Combine your personal guest list, your parents’ list, your fiance’s list, and your fiance’s parents’ list into one alphabetical master list.  Check out this free template google docs – Wedding Guest List Template.  Enter your data or download from your computer in a format which is easily sorted in a multitude of ways.  You will refer to this list repetitively to address invitations, check off RSVPs, keep track of RSVPs NOT received, for accurate guest counts, record gifts, mail thank-you notes, and much more.  Here are some categories to include when making your Master Guest List:

a).  Contact information.  Include each guest’s full name, address, city, state, zip, phone, and e-mail address.

b).  Communication Tracker.  Keep track of who you have sent the save-the-date, invitation, and thank-you cards to.

c).  RSVPs.  Use a check mark or a “X” when the guest has RSVPed, with how many family members will be attending.

d).  Record Gifts.  Write down gifts received.

e).  Out-of-Town Guests.  These guests will need information on guest rooms, and you may want to arrange for transportation to pick them from the airport, take them to the ceremony, and return them to their hotel at the conclusion of the reception.

f).  Multiple Events.  If they are invited to one event, by etiquette they must be invited to the wedding.  You may want to have various spreadsheets for multiple events such as your Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Golf Outing, Spa Day, Ceremony /Reception, and Brunch the Day After.

g).  Dietary Restrictions.  Indicate if they are a vegetarian, gluten free, diabetic, and list dietary restrictions to share with your caterer.

h).  Children vs. Adult Count vs. Vendor Food Count.  Note the age range of children so when you give the final guest count to your caterer you know numbers for adults, children, and vendor meals.

i).  Guest Code by Relationship.   Make a code for each guest so you know who is issuing the invitation, is it the Bride (B), Parents of the Bride (POB), Groom (G), Parents of the Groom (POG), Sibling (SOB – sister of bride), Wedding Party (WP), Aunt (A), Uncle (U), etc.  This will help you with seating arrangements, and if RSVPs are missing, it will be easier at selecting who would be best to delegate to confirm their RSVP status.

j).  Table Numbers.  If you are having reserved seating to a table, it will be easier to group your guests before you alphabetize your list.

k).  Handicap Guests.  If you have anyone in a wheelchair, you may want to seat them closest to the exit door so they have easy entrance and exit options.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

M 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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June 19, 2012

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TheWrightHouse.com - Wedding Ceremony & Wedding Reception Site in Phoenix, Arizona

TheWrightHouse.com - Wedding Reception Site in Phoenix, Arizona

Normally you will spend more money on your wedding reception food and beverage than on any other part of your wedding. Book your site as far in advance as possible. Your final decision on your site selection depends on your wedding style and number of guests. You may want an outdoor garden wedding, mountain views, cascading waterfalls, or a glass enclosed site with breathtaking sunset photo opportunities.

Call the site and check availability for your date, time of day, and expected number of guests. Traditionally Saturday evenings are popular, so you will pay a premium price based on inventory available. Normally a Saturday evening garden wedding in March will be more expensive than a Sunday afternoon wedding in August in Arizona. You may find more availability if you are flexible and are willing to change your wedding to a Saturday morning, Friday evening, Sunday evening, or during the week. Ask to see if you will receive a discount or have less of a minimum guarantee on revenue if you book an “off peak” month, day or time.

Understand what is included in your reception package. If you don’t understand something, ask questions to get clarification.  Get the price per person or the minimum revenue they are requiring in order for you to book their site. If you have the option of bringing in your own caterer and bartending service, make sure the services you hire are licensed and insured. Find out what the rental fee is for the room and if it is based on the amount of guests. If your guest count increases, this may be a financial consequence to you for additional tables, chairs, etc.  If you have handicapped guests, find out if your location has handicap access.

For menu and service options find out if the caterer has a set menu, or if it may be modified. Get a written cost breakdown and what is included per person based on your budget, the type of service, and the formality of your reception (i.e., valet parking, passed hors d’oeuvres, plated dinner, stations, buffet, open bar, champagne toast, wine pass with dinner, coffee service, wedding cake, tables, chairs, chair covers, linens, crystal, china, flatware, dance floor, heaters, umbrellas for shade, and tents for inclement weather). Will you have a guaranteed price if you book your reception and give a deposit? If the pricing will not be guaranteed, ask for a ceiling on anticipated menu increases, and get everything in writing. What is the tax and gratuity percentage? Gratuity is frequently taxed, which increases your budget. When is your guest count due to the caterer? What is the overage percentage the chef will prepare? What will the pricing be for kids, vegetarians, kosher, gluten free, and vendor meals? If you have leftover food, find out if you may take nonperishable food with you. You may want to check options for delivering perishable food to a nearby homeless shelter. How many hours do you have the site? When may your vendors come in to setup?  Will there be overtime charges if you go beyond the allotted time? What are the cancellation, refund, and change of date policies? Find out when the deposits are due and when the final balance is due. Once you narrow down your options, arrange a taste test with the caterer to taste the menu. Sometimes taste tests are free, other times there is a charge. Ask your caterer for options and flexibility.  Site personnel change frequently, so make sure you get all quotes and contracts in writing, as well as any extras you have negotiated.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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May 17, 2012
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TheWrightHouse.com

TheWrightHouse.com

One frequently asked question is “where should I have my wedding reception, and how much will it cost?”  This is another reason to hire an expert wedding planner, to fast track you in matching your style, number of guests, and budget to the  venue.  By having worked events at hundreds of sites, as a wedding planner, it becomes easy to know the ins and outs of each property.

The Wright House, 636 W. University Dr., Mesa, AZ  85201, 480.833.0902, www.thewrighthouse.com  Choose between two unique venues:  A formal Victorian English garden with gazebos, flower bed, and vine covered verandah; or a Southern French garden with gorgeous fountains and the rustic charm of a Country French Inn. Includes setup, fresh floral centerpieces, linens, and decorating. Your own caterer welcome.

Ancala Country Club, 11700 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ  85259, 480.391.1000  A golden sunset, sneaking behind gentle mountains in the distance. A light breeze, filled with laughter, and love. Soft gentle kisses. This is a day you have been dreaming about. Your wedding at Ancala Country Club. Where possibilities are endless…and the day is truly yours.

Anthem Golf & Country Club, 11700 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ  85259, 480.391.1000  Amidst the sun-splashed mountains and the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, Anthem Golf & Country Club sets the breathtaking backdrop for your wedding.  Our two clubhouses, “Persimmon” and “Ironwood”, feature beautifully landscaped lawns, expansive patios, and indoor ballrooms among the many perfect settings for a truly memorable event.

Antique Wedding House, 307 E. First St., Mesa, AZ  85201, 480.649.1934  Historic 100 year old James A. MacDonald Home restored as Antique Wedding House and Gazebo Garden Reception site.

Arizona Grand Resort, 7777 S. Arizona Grand Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ  85044, 602.431.6457  From one of the most expansive ballrooms in the Southwest to our lush outdoor venues.  Arizona Grand Resort provides wide variety of versatile wedding sites and packages.  Each of our restaurants features a different theme and setting for a rehearsal dinner that’s just as memorable as the real thing.

Bentley Projects, 215 E. Grant St., Phoenix, AZ  85004, 602.340.9200  Bentley Projects is truly a distinctive event venue with exposed brick walls and wooden bow truss ceilings.  Critically acclaimed, Projects is located in the center of downtown Phoenix, just a few blocks south of Chase Field and the new Phoenix Convention Center.

Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens, 16026 N. 36th St., Phoenix, AZ  85032, 602.867.8975  A private five acre oasis in the heart of Phoenix featuring a forest of trees, fountains, ponds, tranquil river and a 20’ waterfall. Get married in our Hacienda Style Plaza, dine in our indoor Tropical Garden, socialize in our Old World Cantina and dance the night away in our beautiful Palm Garden.

Cave Creek Smokehouse’s Fountain Patio, 6245 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ  85331, 480.488.3317  Fantastic outside venue in the heart of Cave Creek with awesome food and views. Great anytime of the year with lodgings nearby.

Crowne Plaza Phoenix, 2532 W. Peoria Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85029, 602.943.2341  Newly renovated event space, indoor and outdoor. 3.5 million spent on renovation over the last year.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley-Scottsdale, 5401 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ  85250, 480.948.7750  Your perfect day in Paradise! Welcome to the ultimate setting for your ultimate day. Where tall palms tower over tropical gardens and whispering fountains, we offer the finest of touches and delectable culinary creations, along with a professional team that will bring it all together perfectly.

Downtown Phoenix Venues, P.O. Box 2236, Phoenix, AZ  85002, 602.416.1261  Each building has a unique structure and appearance incomparable to the other venues in the Valley. From the bow truss ceilings, as well as the modern and industrial look of monOrchid, or the raw feel of the Icehouse, not to mention the exposed brick walls and wooden bow truss ceilings of Bentley Projects.

Embassy Suites Phoenix Scottsdale Hotel, 4415 E. Paradise Village Pkwy. S., Phoenix, AZ  85032, 602.765.5807  Our breathtaking views and exceptional services will enhance the success of your special day! Our wedding packages may be customized to match your personal taste, style, and budget.

The Felch House Inn, 525 W. Lynwood St., Phoenix, AZ  85003, 480.229.2104  The Felch House Inn the 1927 Dutch Colonial Home of one of our first county doctors, Dr. Harry J. Felch. A showcase home designed by three architects and built by the finest craftsman is meticulously maintained. The lush half-acre English gardens make this the ideal location for vintage and garden events.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, DC Ranch, 20753 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, AZ  85255, 480.538.8000  Celebrate your most memorable times at Fleming’s. This special time in your life calls for a special celebration—with exceptional food and wine, shared among family and friends. Fleming’s is renowned for contemporary steakhouse dining at its finest and offers pre-set lunch and dinner menus with choices for varying budgets and tastes.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at the Hilton, 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ  85250, 480.596.8265  Celebrate your most memorable times at Fleming’s. This special time in your life calls for a special celebration—with exceptional food and wine, shared among family and friends. Fleming’s is renowned for contemporary steakhouse dining at its finest and offers pre-set lunch and dinner menus with choices for varying budgets and tastes.

Glendale Civic Center, 5750 W. Glenn Dr., Glendale, AZ  85301, 623.878.2866  Our experienced wedding coordinators are delighted to help you design a wedding in one of our gardens and/or exquisite ballrooms that reflects your colors, tastes, and style. Our caterer is knowledgeable in many cuisines and will prepare a menu of flavors your guests will never forget, all within your budget.

The Icehouse, 429 W. Jackson, Phoenix, AZ  85004, 602.416.1261  The Icehouse, known historically as Constable Ice Storage, is located in the historic original town site of the city of Phoenix, Arizona. It began operations in 1910 as an icehouse, manufacturing 300 lb. ice blocks for use in the food industry, primarily to keep produce cold as it was shipped by railroad to Eastern U.S. cities.

McCormick Ranch Golf Club, 7505 E. McCormick Pkwy., Scottsdale, AZ  85258, 480.948.7011  Multiple venues with beautiful views of our sparkling lakes, luscious golf courses, and Camelback Mountain.

Mesa Country Club, 660 W. Fairway Dr., Mesa, AZ  85201, 480.964.1797  Mesa Country Club is an ideal wedding ceremony and reception venue for anyone. Perfectly suited to accommodate magnificent large celebrations as well as unforgettable intimate events. We can provide a variety of stunning indoor and outdoor spaces to create the wedding of your dreams.

monOrchid, 214 E. Roosevelt, Phoenix, AZ  85003, 602.416.1261  Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix’s art district, the monOrchid can be the perfect setting for your private event. This modern industrial chic gallery can accommodate events ranging from large receptions to intimate sit-down dinners for weddings and receptions, and for photo and film shoots.

Moon Valley Country Club, 151 W. Moon Valley Dr., Phoenix, AZ  85023, 602.375.4425  Nestled beneath the serene, sun-drenched hills of North Phoenix, lies a lush, green oasis in the desert called Moon Valley Country Club. This classic 160-acre property is laden with mature trees and foliage which rise above the colorful flowers that riddle the landscape. Our retro-chic look will be the perfect setting for your wedding.

An Old Town Wedding and Event Center, 8276 W. Monroe St., Peoria, AZ  85345, 623.412.7797  A 1948 red brick home with over one half acre gardens, fountains, mature trees, seasonal flowers, and twinkle lights galore. Ceremony takes place in the raised lit gazebo, and the reception is in the gardens. Enjoy the evening while dancing under the stars.

Pebble Creek Country Club, 16222 Clubhouse Dr., Goodyear, AZ  85395, 623.935.6726  Affordable luxury Pebble Creek Country Club is the hidden jewel of the West Valley.

The Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ  85014, 602.263.5208  Warm, soft elegance, 60% window view, 4300 sq. ft. ballroom looking out on 130 acres in downtown Phoenix, recent modernization to the club with beautiful wood and soft earth tones. Private Country Club with a dedicated team to make special memories for your wedding day or rehearsal dinner.

The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, 2401 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ  85016, 602.468.0700  The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix is a luxury hotel with urban chic surroundings, making it one of the city’s most desired wedding venues. From a Terrace draped with white twinkle lights to an elegant Ballroom, the Hotel offers seamless comprehensive wedding services for intimate and grand celebrations.

Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club, 8225 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, AZ  85250, 480.344.0600  An intimate, personal, and private boutique of Scottsdale, Arizona, the Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club offers breathtaking views and unmatched recreational amenities.

Seville Golf & Country Club, 6683 S. Clubhouse Dr., Gilbert, AZ  85298, 480.279.3012  Seville has many different options for you to choose from to hold your wedding. From open grass acres, the lagoon or waterfall to any number of golf course locations. We have the perfect spot for you!

Spinato’s Pizzeria, 4848 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, AZ  85048, 480.961.0208  www.spinatospizza.com  Spinato’s family pizzeria, has a private dining room to host your rehearsal dinner and reception. Extensive menu choices and service styles allow you to order off the menu to work within your budget. Spinato’s friendly staff and variety of tasty food will have your wedding remembered forever!

Superstition Springs Golf Club, 6542 E. Baseline Rd., Mesa, AZ  85206, 480.654.5652  When you want the location of your event to be as special as the occasion, we have what it takes. Distinguished by its Southern plantation style clubhouse, Superstition breathes an air of luxury.

Tatum Ranch Golf Club, 29888 N. Tatum Ranch Dr., Cave Creek, AZ  85331, 480.585.2399  Tatum Ranch Golf Club is a premier wedding venue that offers elegance at an affordable price. With a breathtaking mountain backdrop, our outdoor ceremony site is the perfect setting for your wedding ceremony! Tatum Ranch Golf Club features fine food, professional staff, and a wedding day that will be truly magical.

Trilogy at Vistancia, 27980 N. Trilogy Blvd. E., #102, Peoria, AZ  85383, 623.215.6260  Our Ceremony Promenade is the perfect backdrop to exchange vows with dramatic views of the Bradshaw Mountains. Equipped with a 2,200 square foot dance floor, Infinity doors and state-of-the-art video equipment, the Tewa Ballroom is the perfect place for a celebration of your new life together.

Venue at the Grove, 7010 S. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ  85041, 602.456.0803  If you are looking for a unique garden setting for your ceremony/reception in the Arizona desert that is only 15 minutes away from downtown Phoenix, look no further. Venue at the Grove is located on a two and a half acre pecan grove that truly provides a unique experience.

Villa Siena, 890 W. Elliot Rd., Gilbert, AZ  85233, 480.782.7218  Exquisite Tuscan elegance, Villa Siena invites you, with up to 250 guests, to celebrate live, love and laughter on the day of your wedding. Six thousand square feet of indoor space as well as 6,500 square feet of beautiful outdoor gardens add to the grace of Villa Siena.

The Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E. Telawa Tr., Phoenix, AZ  85016, 602.553.7395  Historical landmark, once private residence of William Wrigley Jr. – chewing gum magnate – Stunning Valley Views!

Zulu Club, 15000 N. Airport Dr., Scottsdale, AZ  85260, 480.282.0464  Enjoy the spectacular views of the McDowell Mountains and corporate jets on our property – in the heart of Scottsdale, complete privacy and uniquely different.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – April 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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May 12, 2012

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Alexa and I at Turks and Caicos at Beaches, best vacation ever!

Alexa and I at Turks and Caicos at Beaches, best vacation ever!

Happy Mother’s Day to you if you are a mom.

Happy early Father’s Day if you are a dad.

If you aren’t a parent, then please pass on love, hugs, and best wishes to your parents and grandparents!  If you don’t have a mom, or grandparents, I understand your loss, and remember their laughter, smile, and incredible times you had together.

As a parent, you feel fortunate to be able to bring a child into this world.  You understand what it means to want more for your child than you and your spouse ever had.

Before becoming a mom, I used to think life was “busy”.  Now being a mom, and running multiple businesses, have a new definition and balance for the word “busy”.

Being a teacher and positive role model for your child, you hope and pray the map for their road of life is filled with good choices. You have a positive mindset overflowing with strength and energy, especially on the days when there are detours.

When you are a parent you understand 24/7, you understand there is no time off, and traditions you pass on and implement will be passed on to your child’s children.

You want to be there to share great experiences and all those “firsts”.  You want to listen to everything about their day.  You want to give them hugs, dry their tears, and pick them up when they fall.  You understand one day when when you least expect it, they will be on their own.  You hope and pray you have instilled in them the knowledge, tools, and ability to make their own right choices as if you were there beside them as they follow their road of life.  It is hard to know all your parents sacrificed, yet you get a better idea when you become a parent.

When the doctors told me I would never have children, my mom told me “Kim, you will never know what love is”.  At that time I had no idea what she meant, and now after beating all odds to become a parent, I do “get it”!

Blessed that Alexa (our miracle daughter), Steve, and I have an incredible relationship.  We have each others “back”, and together anything is possible!

One of our favorite sayings is “I love you to the moon and back a zillion times, and I love you more than you love me and it is possible!”  Alexa is now 9, and in 9 more years she will be graduating high school and off to college.

My mom passed away almost 19 years ago next month.  Disappointed Alexa and her never met, yet know they have many things in common, which I have discussed with Alexa – their blue eyes, their nose, and their artistic creativity just to name a few of their similarities.

Steve and I celebrate our 22nd anniversary today, and can’t wait for another weekend experience as we are together for Mother’s Day!

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First Dance at Your Wedding

A DJ or band will set the tempo and mood of your wedding.  Music is one of the first impressions your guests experience when they arrive.  It pays to do your homework when hiring a DJ and band.  You do get what you pay for, if it appears to be too good, it probably is.  The personality, knowledge, and expertise of your DJ and band will make your event.  A professional DJ and band will be able give you guidelines on the flow of your wedding, and to assist you as you select your “must play” songs and your “must NOT play” songs.

Select Music for a Diverse Group of family and friends.  As a bride and groom, you have your favorite songs, yet your parents and grandparents may have an entirely different song list.  Review your guest list to see what type of music will work best, and ask your DJ and band for recommendations.  As you review your guest list, it normally narrows down to a diverse group of family and friends, which translates to a diverse group of music selections.   You may want live music for a portion, and a DJ for another portion. Music played during dinner will be an entirely different selection compared to the last hour for dance music.

Load In and Set Up.  Your DJ and band need to be scheduled to have enough time to load in, set up, have a sound check, trouble shoot, change clothes, and be ready for the arrival of your guests.   The last thing you want is your DJ or band loading in as your guests arrive.  If you have a band, they will have multiple breaks.  Make sure you have someone play music during breaks.

Are you a musiczilla?  As a wedding planner, always have lots of stories!  One bride had a song list of what she wanted played to the minute for her entire three hour wedding reception.  This is not recommended!  As her wedding planner, let her know it was not recommended, yet the DJ would follow her plan “her way”, yet she needed to understand if it wasn’t working we needed a Plan B.  Plan B was the most of the same songs, yet played in an order and timing the DJ felt worked best for the flow.  After 10 minutes of no one dancing, I approached the bride, and she agreed to go to Plan B.  Please remember you hire a professional for a reason, and each song may be three to four minutes long.  If you have a MUST PLAY list of 150 songs, you may have 600 minutes of music, translating to 10 hours of music.  Allow your DJ or band leader to guide you in selections which will get your guests up on the dance floor.  If there are songs which you do NOT want played, even if requested by a guest, make sure they honor your requests first.

Team and Timeline.  As your wedding planner, one crucial item requested of you is to be respectful to your vendors and give them a realistic timeframe to do what they feel they need to do it in.  You will need a timeline from your photographer to know how much time they need to photograph you, your wedding party, your family, and  your room before guests enter.  Depending on your menu selection and service style, you may want to position songs like the Father/Daughter dance after the servers have cleared tables, while everyone is waiting for your next course to be served.  You want your vendors to be able to do their personal best in a realistic timeframe.

Cake Cutting vs. Cake Service.  One of the key issues when timing your dinner is when to cut the cake.  Many feel when you cut the cake, your guests leave.  There is a “gap” in time from when you physically “cut the cake”, to when the cake is “served” to your guests.  Most people eat dessert and have coffee after their entrée (they don’t wait an hour or two for dessert).  Would recommend the bride and groom to cut their cake when most of the guests are finished eating their entrée.  Once the cake is cut, then have the DJ and band open the dance floor for dancing (approximately 20 – 30 minutes) while the catering staff disassembles, cuts, and prepares the cake to be served to the guests.  After 20 – 30 minutes of dancing, your guests are normally ready to take a break, and return to their table to eat their cake.

Check references, and meet with the DJ and band directly.   The DJ and band leader should give you recommendations or a guideline to help you with song selections for your:

  • Grand Entrance
  • Dinner Music
  • First Dance
  • Father/Daughter Dance
  • Mother/Son Dance
  • Cake Cutting Song
  • Dance Music (slow and fast selections)
  • Last Dance

Read and understand your agreement before signing it.

What time will they start and end?

What is included in their fee?

What is an additional fee?

Who is your DJ?

Who is your emcee?

Who are your band members and what instrumentation or vocals will they include?

What are overtime charges?

What will they wear?

If it is a band, how many breaks do they have and for how long?

What and who will be play on band breaks (or do they have a DJ to handle this)?

If it is a band, are they willing to learn the music of your First Dance, and other special requested dances?

Do they have a wireless microphone for announcements?

Do they include lighting, or is it extra?

Two recommended DJ companies:

http://www.CitronSound.com (ask for Jon)

http://www.RayTheDJ.com (ask for Ray)

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – April 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

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